Jill E. Gatlin
Seminar study of special topics in language and literary study. Limited to seniors majoring in English.
American Ethnic Literature: Ethics of Reading and Writing This course explores the cultural discourses that frame the reading and writing of so-called "American Ethnic" literature. As we read short stories, essays, novels, poems, perhaps a play, and critical theory, we'll explore what writers expect of their readers, what they expect of one another, and what readers expect of "ethnic" writers. Questions we'll ask include: Why is "ethnic literature" categorized as such, and what are the implications of that categorization? What's at stake in debates regarding the cultural and linguistic accessibility of ethnic literature? How do various authors position their work in relation to "insiders" and in relation to "white" readers? How does race impact reading? What's at stake in debates regarding "authentic" cultural representation? How are concepts of "identity" and "agency" central to these questions? We will read literary works primarily from the 1970s to the present. Likely authors include Sherman Alexie, nila northSun, Toni Morrison, Gloria Anzaldúa, Cherríe Moraga, Maxine Hong Kingston, Frank Chin, Amy Tan, Alice Walker, and Ishmael Reed.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
Class assignments and grading
Course requirements include attentive reading, active participation in daily discussions and in-class activities, presentations, discussion leading, formal position and response papers, informal writing, and a final paper.